Former Montana Tech football player pleads guilty to rape


A 19-year-old Clancy man who played football for Montana Tech admitted Thursday that he raped two women in Butte last year.

Derek James Nygaard was charged with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, but in an agreement with prosecutors, pleaded guilty to a single count Thursday before District Judge Kurt Krueger.

Krueger ordered a presentence investigation and will set sentencing after it has been completed. He said he also wants to see findings of a psychosexual evaluation.

Nygaard could be sentenced up to 20 years in the Montana State Prison and fined up to $50,000.

He appeared for Thursday’s change-of-plea hearing with his attorney, David Maldonado, and admitted to having sex with two different people without their consent. He will remain free on bond pending sentencing unless he violates release conditions.

Nygaard was a student at Montana Tech in the 2020 fall semester but was no longer enrolled there or still a member of the football team when prosecutors filed charges this past March. The university said privacy laws prohibited them from releasing any other information on him.

According to charging documents, a woman came to the Butte police station on Oct. 13, 2020, and said Nygaard had made sexual advances on

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